Columbus School Board May Hire Contractors If Teachers Strike
The Columbus Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday on a contingency plan for a possible teacher strike.
Teachers will see their current union contract expire in August, the day before school year begins. Staff and administrators have been at odds over issues including pay, classroom size, and property tax abatements for developers.
The Columbus Education Association voted to give negotiators permission to issue a 10-day strike notice if necessary. In response, the school board asked for recommendations for a professional service contract that would provide staff in the case of a strike.
The move has angered union members.
"We feel that the Columbus City Schools should spend their resources on hiring new teachers and getting resources that the teachers need and not spending money on contractors that will come in and potentially put our students in danger," says Columbus Education Association member Regina Fuentes.
CEA members plan to attend Tuesday's meeting.
"We just hope to communicate to the board that we are serious about this new negotiation campaign that we absolutely want a fair contract and we want to do what's best for our students and get them the schools they deserve," Fuentes says.
In a statement, the Columbus Board of Education says having contractors in place is a reasonable response to the threat of a strike. The board declined to comment for this story.